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39 Free Museums in London

39 Free Museums in London

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London is a cultural hub – packed with pretty much every kind of museum and gallery imaginable. Don’t miss these brilliant free museums in London.

It’s no secret that London isn’t the cheapest city – step outside of your door and pounds pour from your purse, encouraged by a series of delicious meals and must-see attractions. Believe us, we know how you feel.

So it can be surprising just how many of London’s museums are free to visit. Pretty much all of the city’s biggest museums and galleries cost totally zilch to visit – not something that you can say about many cities.

Not sure where to start? We’ve chosen 39 of the best free museums in London – get some comfortable shoes on. It’s time to explore.

Free Museums in London

Science Museum

South Kensington

Science Museum
Science Museum

South Kensington is home to three of the best free museums in London – the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the V&A.

The Science Museum is the perfect chance to learn more about all the things you’ve ever wanted to know about, and then some! It’s been delighting visitors since 1857 with its amazing collections.

The Museum also does some very fun adults-only “Lates” events. The calendar is very varied – past events have ranged from lectures to Faberge Egg decorating and silent discos, so check the schedule and be sure to book ahead.

Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

Booking: You’ll need a ticket to enter. Book your slot here.

Natural History Museum

South Kensington

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of the most striking and fascinating free museums in London, and a great day out.

Sadly, Dippy the dinosaur has left the building. These days you’re greeted by a huge skeleton of ‘Hope’, a blue whale skeleton hanging in the world-famous Hintze Hall just inside the entrance of the museum. It’s a striking start to a fascinating museum.

Learn about the history of planet earth, walk in the footsteps of the dinosaurs or take the escalator up into the solar system to explore outer space – it’s a journey through our natural world.

Don’t be turned off if natural history wasn’t your thing in school, it’s impossible not to have a good time (and learn something) in this awesome museum.  

Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Booking: There are a few walk-up tickets available on the door, though this isn’t guaranteed so book your tickets beforehand.

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)

South Kensington


This museum is positively regal – and not just because it was named after (and opened by) Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.

The huge Victorian Gothic building is striking enough (fittingly so for a museum dedicated to design) – but wait until you get inside.

The V&A has a broad collection loosely focused around art and design, with more than two million pieces in total spread out over five acres.

Be sure to see the world’s largest collection of post-classical (around 500 – 1450 AD) sculptures, many William Morris designs, fashion exhibitions and everything in between.

For fans of more modern fashion, some pieces from the late, great Alexander MacQueen’s catalogue form part of the V&A collection.

Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Booking: No need to book, just turn up.

British Museum


British Museum

With an eclectic collection amassed throughout the centuries, the British Museum demands comfortable shoes and a lot of time.

Considering the priceless exhibits on display, the fact that this museum has free entry is a real treat as you embark on an incredible tour through the history of humanity. An entire afternoon or morning will barely skim the surface, while even a full day will leave many treasures undiscovered.

It’s truly mesmerising to be mere centimetres from some of history’s most significant artefacts, like the Rosetta Stone, used to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics, or intricate artwork from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia.

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

Booking: If you go during the week, walk-ins are pretty easy to get. Or, you can book a timed slot here to guarantee entry.

Museum of London

City of London

Museum of London
Museum of London

With so many free entry museums in London featuring collections sourced from around the world, the Museum of London takes a completely different tack – showcasing the history of our weird and wonderful city.

The museum traces the history of London from prehistoric times through to modern times, with an emphasis on the characters that have called the city home. It’s a fascinating look at the events and people who have made the great city what it is today.

Note: The Museum of London is in the process of moving to a new location in Smithfields and will reopen in 2026. 

Address: 150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2Y 5HN

Booking: Pre-book your tickets here

National Maritime Museum


National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum

Greenwich is full of treasures – few better than the surprisingly good National Maritime Museum, although The Painted Hall comes close.

You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy learning about Britain’s maritime history. Retracing the history of the seas in Britain from the Roman landings (fittingly, in Greenwich) and onwards is super interesting.

Also keep an eye out for the temporary exhibitions on eclectic subjects throughout the year. Most of are chargeable and will require you to buy a ticket in advance.

Address: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF

Booking: Pre-book your tickets here.

Queen’s House


Queen's House
Queen’s House

Queen’s House is a relatively recent addition to Greenwich’s museum collection, and is found in the former royal residence of Queen Anne of Denmark.

In fact, as much of the delight of Queen’s House is exploring the gorgeous neoclassical buildings as it is seeing the art displayed within. First constructed in 1637, it is a very significant building in British architecture.

That said, the art is pretty impressive, too. In particular, be sure to check out the famous Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.

Despite its fame, historians are not actually sure who painted the 1588 masterpiece, as prior attributions to painter George Gower were proved incorrect.

Address: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF

Booking: Pre-book your tickets to The Queen’s House here.

Imperial War Museum


Imperial War Museum

Tucked away in Kennington, the Imperial War Museum is a full-on sensory overload thrusting you into the brutal reality of war.

Through a varied collection that includes letters, films, photographs and artefacts, the museum is an unflinching and often poignant look at modern warfare and its impact on people and society.

The collection is particularly interesting as it offers many different perspectives, from those on the front lines of modern warfare through to the journalists, artists and poets that have covered the subject.

The Holocaust Galleries, over two floors, are a sobering reminder of the horrific impact of war on civilians. It’s rare to experience such a large exhibition shrouded in almost complete silence, but this moving section achieves that.

Address: Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZBooking: Book your tickets in advance to avoid having to queue.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

An odd and totally lovable museum in Holborn, Sir John Soane’s is one of London’s coolest little museums.

Sir John Soane had humble beginnings, but grew to become a great architect who most famously designed the Bank of England, which influenced architectural trends worldwide.

Although most of his work at the Bank of England has been removed over time, you can still step into his eccentric world at this museum. Housed in his former home (and now a few adjoining buildings), it showcases his eclectic collection of art, furniture and various antiques and oddities.

Check it out during the unique “Late” events held every month, when they light it up by candlelight and run a tour on a different theme. Dates vary, so check the calendar online.

Address: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

Booking: Just walk in.

V&A Museum of Childhood

Bethnal Green

In Bethnal Green, this offshoot of the popular V&A museum is dedicated to the childhood experience.

Your inner child will love exploring the amazing collection of toys and games from antique dolls’ houses to 1970s action figures. Kids are sure to especially love the hands-on exhibits – little wonder it’s one of the best places to visit with kids in London.

In addition to the large permanent collection, there are also frequent temporary exhibits upstairs.

Address: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA

Booking: No need to book, just walk in.

London Mithraeum

City of London

London Mithraeum
London Mithraeum

One of London’s quirkier and lesser-known spots is literally a blend of old and new.

The London Mithraeum is a museum centred around the ruins of a Roman Temple and is located, rather oddly, underneath the shiny glass Bloomberg Buildings in the middle of the city.

A visit to the Mithraeum is not just looking at old artefacts, but a full on sensory experience. There’s a timed entry where you’re thrust into the Roman world for a dramatic and fun-filled ten minutes. Think chanting and moody lighting and you’re on the right track.

Address: 12 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AA

Booking: You can book your timed entry slot here.

Wellcome Collection


A museum mostly consisting of art about medicine might seem like a bit of a strange one, but the Wellcome Collection attracts more than 700,000 visitors every year.

Inside, you’ll find an oddly fascinating collection of art, books and artefacts relating to the development of medicine around the globe. It’s certainly enough to evoke some morbid curiosity! There are regularly changing temporary exhibitions that, although often sounding niche, never fail to capture the imagination.

As well as the museum, there is also a cafe, a bookshop and a particularly impressive library.

Address: 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Booking: You can book a timed entry slot before you visit the Wellcome Collection.

Royal Air Force Museum


Occupying a huge area once known as the Hendon Aerodrome, the Royal Air Force Museum has a huge collection of items about the British airforce.

With five hangars and another large building, there’s a vast collection of items from original Supermarine Spitfires from the Battle of Britain, to the Eurofighter Typhoon, in addition to books and photographs.

One of our favourite hangars is Hangar 2 which charts the story of Hendon as a site of pioneering flight in England, into World War I.

There’s also a special section for kids, with replica planes and helicopters, as well as a great cafe.

Address: Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

Booking: Book your tickets before you go for guaranteed entry.

British Library


The British Library

We love the striking red brick buildings of the British Library, home to the largest national library in the world.

The British Library has so many books that no-one knows the exact number. The best guesses put it at between 150 and 200 million in the collections. Pretty amazing, right?

A lot of the building is restricted to readers but they do have a few exhibition spaces where there is always something interesting on.

Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB

Booking: Just walk in, but you will need to apply for access to the readers rooms. You can do that here.

Petrie Museum


Petrie Museum
Petrie Museum

Part of the University College of London, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology delves into the world of the Ancient Egyptians.

Intricate carvings, clothing, pottery and hieroglyphics from Egypt and Sudan await inside the unassuming brick building.

The initial collection was donated by the 19th century author and Egyptologist Amelia Edwards, and has grown to be more than 80,000 items. It’s a definite must for anyone interested in Ancient Egypt.

Address: Malet Pl, London WC1E 6BT

Booking: No need to book, just rock up and walk in.

Museum of the Home


The offbeat Geffrye Museum of the Home has finally reopened with a new lease of life.

The collections feature items from domestic life through the centuries, giving you the chance to have a nose at how families have lived throughout history. You can also venture through the beautiful front gardens.

You can also admire the exterior of the building, which is a Grade I listed almshouse dating from the 18th century. 

Now it has reopened it has certainly reclaimed its spot amongst the best free museums and galleries in London.

Address: 36 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA

Booking: No need to book. Just walk in.

Design Museum


Design Museum

The Design Museum moved to its new impressive Kensington premises in 2016 after many years on the bank of the Thames.

Inside the ultra-modern new building, the Design Museum walks you through the interesting history of design throughout the ages. The exhibits cover different areas including product, industrial, fashion, architectural and graphic design.

See classics like the London Tube Map brought to life and look at everyday objects in a completely new light after exploring this great London museum – free!

Address: 224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG

Booking: No need to book in advance for the free collection – book here for access to paid exhibitions.

National Army Museum


Located in Chelsea, the National Army Museum opened in 2017 after a huge renovation project.

The new, spruced up museum offers five permanent collections devoted to the history of Britain’s land forces. There’s a lot of focus on individual stories and experiences, which adds a lot to the experience.

Entry to the museum is free, but there is also a regular calendar of ticketed temporary exhibits that are worth checking out.

Address: Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HT

Booking: No need to book in advance.

Museum of Brands

Notting Hill

Museum of Brands

Looking for unusual places to visit in London for free? It might not sound like the most interesting topic for a museum, but there’s a lot to the history of advertising, marketing and packaging.

At the Museum of Brands, you can check out many different items from eyebrow-raising Victorian advertisements to 90s toys.

It’s really interesting to see how advertising has reflected society and attitudes, and you can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic on your visit.

Address: 224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG

Booking: There are plenty of walk in spots available, but you can also nab a timed ticket.

Grant Museum of Zoology


Grant Museum
Grant Museum | Credit: Laika AC

Another great offering from the University College of London is the Grant Museum of Zoology in Bloomsbury.

The museum was founded in 1828 by England’s first Chair of Zoology, and has one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK.

Within the eclectic collection, some of the highlights include the skeletons of extinct animals such as the dodo, Tasmanian tiger and quagga plains zebra – when it comes to London free museums, this is one of our favourites.

Address: Rockefeller Building, 21 University St, London WC1E 6DE

Booking: Booking is not required.

Note: The museum is currently closed for renovation at the time of writing, but will be reopening fully updated in January 2024.

Hampstead Museum


For over 300 years, Burgh House has been one of London’s most iconic residences.

It was originally built as a lavish home and lived in by characters including Elsie Bambridge, the daughter of Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling. Today, Burgh House is open to the public and houses the Hampstead Museum, a small but thorough local history museum.

There are permanent collections including many of Helen Allingham’s watercolours, as well as a calendar of interesting events.

Address: New End Square, London NW3 1LT

Booking: No advance booking is required, although the museum is only open Wednesday to Friday, and Sundays.

Horniman Museum

Forest Hill

Horniman Museum

In Forest Hill in leafy south London, the Horniman Museum is like the Natural History Museum but on a much smaller (and more digestible) scale.

Its collection has subjects including natural history, anthropology, and musical instruments, and is particularly famous for its many taxidermied species.

There’s quite the eclectic mix, and you’re sure to find something intriguing at the Horniman Museum.

Address: 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ

Booking: There’s no need to book in advance, although remember that you’ll need to pay if you want to visit the butterfly house and the aquarium.

Bank of England Museum

City of London

Don’t be fooled – it turns out that bank museums can be pretty fascinating (we know, we were pretty surprised too).

For many years, the Bank of England’s collection was only open via a private and exclusive tour, but today it’s much more accessible. Everyone is welcome to check out the collection of bank notes and other memorabilia, for free!

Of all the items, perhaps the most interesting has little to do with money. Instead it’s the emotional resignation letter of Kenneth Grahame, who worked for the bank for 30 years and also wrote the world-famous children’s book The Wind in the Willows.

Address: Bartholomew Ln, London EC2R 8AH

Booking: Just walk in. 

Museum of Docklands

West India Quay

Located in a Grade I listed sugar warehouse in Poplar, the Museum of the Docklands traces the history of London’s docklands.

It’s a fascinating look into an area that was once considered one of the roughest in London, but has undergone a lot of rejuvenation in recent years.

The exhibits are varied, featuring information on workers, residents, buildings and trade unions in the docklands area. There’s also chilling footage from the Blitz on display.

Address: 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, No, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL

Booking: This museum is usually pretty quiet and there’s no need to book in advance. Turn up, and enjoy.

Queer Britain

King’s Cross

Queer Britain

Queer Britain has been one of the hottest free museums in London since it opened in May 2022. It’s the UK’s first national museum dedicated to Queer culture.

They have changing exhibitions that reflect the lives and challenges of people in the LGBTQ+ community, be it art from people within the community itself or retrospectives challenging the entrenched narratives of society.

The Queer community have all-too-often been erased from society, and this museum preserves important artefacts and snapshots of LGBTQ+ history that would otherwise have been lost forever.

Address: 2 Granary Square, London N1C 4BH

Booking: The museum is free to enter – just turn up.

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre


Looking for a quirky London museum? Look no further than the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre – a historical spot dedicated to the anaesthetisation of patients (try saying that ten times).

From anaesthesia’s first public use in 1846 to modern day advancements, this museum houses a rare book collection as well as equipment that gives a fascinating insight into the world of anaesthesia, resuscitation, and pain relief. 

And those with morbid curiosity will love it. It’s one of the weirdest free museums London has to offer.

Address: 21 Portland Pl, London W1B 1PY

Booking: Entry is free, turn up between 10am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

Vagina Museum 


London’s Vagina Museum

A Vagina Museum! Could such a thing really exist? Yes. Yes it can. This institution began life as a series of pop-ups that eventually grew into an actual museum on all things to do with vagina. 

They’ve had trouble securing funding over the years and, as a result, have ended up bouncing around. Good news though, they will be opening up again in a more permanent location soon and bringing back all the quirky exhibits you could want. 

The museum has recently reopened in its new surroundings near the Olympic Park having moved from its previous Bethnal Green base.

Address: Arches 275-276, Poynser Street, London, E2 9RF

Booking: Entry is free, although you can book in advance with a recommended donation.

Faraday Museum


Part of the Royal Institution, the Faraday Museum is a gem of a collection that celebrates more than 200 years of scientific innovation and pioneering discoveries, named after the much-celebrated Michael Faraday, who was a key part of the evolution of electromagnetism and the development of the electric motor.

Set over three floors, the museum pays tribute to British scientific brilliance from the 1800s onwards, with a recreation of Faraday’s magnetic lab as it would have been almost 200 years ago, and a nanotechnology lab from the modern day to compare against.

Upstairs, meet the likes of Faraday himself, and Ada Lovelace – daughter of Lord Byron and mathematical genius who developed the world’s first programmable computer. Then head up to the first floor to learn about many of the famous scientists to have been part of the Royal Institution over the past couple of centuries.

Address: 21 Albermarle Street, London, W1S 4BS

Booking: Entry is completely free. Turn up and enjoy.

Royal Academy of Music Museum

Baker Street

The Royal Academy of Music Museum forms part of the Royal Academy, which has been recently celebrated its bicentenary. With alumni including the likes of Elton John, Simon Rattle and Felicity Lott, the museum opened in 2001 to provide a telling insight into how great musicians manage their craft.

Among the many rich treasures contained within the museum are Stradivarius stringed instruments, keyboard instruments by the likes of Broadwood, Pleyel and Erard, and enough musical memorabilia to make any music fan a little weak-kneed.

The museum also holds regular recitals, seminars, workshops and family-friendly activities, all totally free of charge.

Address: Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5HT

Booking: No need to book in advance.

London Sewing Machine Museum


Sewing Machine Museum

Pretty much equidistant between the South London suburbs of Balham and Tooting lies one of London’s more niche, but extremely compelling museums, the Sewing Machine Museum.

Situated upstairs in a warehouse-style building with a blue sign saying “Wimbledon Sewing Machine Co. Ltd” is one of the most wonderful single-subject collections in London.

Among the sewing machines on show is an 1865 Pollack & Schmidt machine that was given to Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter and later given to her Nanny, while the oldest piece in the collection dates back to 1829, almost 200 years ago. The Thimmonier was named after its inventor, who is thought to have created the first ever sewing machine and cost the museum a whopping £50,000.

Even if haberdashery isn’t your jam, trust us, making the trip to visit the stunning collection is time very well spent.

Address: 292-312 Balham High Road, London, SW17 7AA

Booking: No need to book in advance, although donations are gratefully received to keep the museum open.

Museum of Freemasonry


How much do you know about freemasonry? No, us either. Yet, you can find out about the intriguing history of this secret organisation at the Museum of Freemasonry a short walk from Holborn station.

Comprising of two galleries, the museum tells the story of freemasonry, from its inception through to the current day and discover the meaning behind all of the symbols.

The collection on display include a songbook, ceremonial robes and snuffboxes created by Napoleonic prisoners of war, some of which date back 300 years. 

So, if you want to unravel the mystery wrapped around the enigma that is freemasonry, this is a brilliant secret gem.

Address: Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

Booking: No advance booking is required. 

Free Galleries in London

The Tate Modern


Tate Modern

The Tate Modern opened in 2000, so it is one of the newer free museums in London, but it has wasted no time in establishing a great name for itself.

Situated inside an old power station on the South Bank, it is one of London’s most impressive museums. A towering monolith of art on the banks of the Thames.

Unsurprisingly, given its name, The Tate Modern houses one of the world’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art.

Check out the expansive permanent collection, with thousands of incredible artworks dating from 1900 through to today. Highlights include works by Monet, Hepworth, Pollock and Rothko and pieces by Picasso from every period of his life.

Add to this an ever-changing roster of temporary exhibitions (for which you have to pay) and you’re onto a winner.

Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Booking: Tickets are available on the door, although pre-booking a slot is recommended for the paid exhibitions. If you want to browse the free collections, just turn up and enjoy.

Read Next: 60 Straight-Up Awesome Things to do in London

The Tate Britain


Tate Britain

Located in Millbank, The Tate Britain is another of the best free museums in London.

The Tate Modern might be the cool new kid on the block, but personally I prefer its more austere sister museum further downriver, the Tate Britain.

The museum opened in 1897 and has been welcoming visitors to admire a huge collection of British art from the Tudor times onwards since.

It’s a walk though the history of the country’s art (though the interpretation of British is relatively loose)  straight through from Hogarth to David Hockney, with British greats such as Gainsborough, Reynolds and Frederick Lord Leighton dotted in between.

Several artists left their life’s works to the Tate Britain, including renowned artist J. M. W. Turner.

Address: Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

Booking: As with the Tate Modern, Tickets are available on the door, although pre-booking a slot is recommended for the paid exhibitions. If you want to browse the free collections, just turn up and enjoy.

The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

If you only make time to visit a few museums during your London trip, The National Gallery should be at the top of your list.

Trafalgar Square

The gallery sits proudly overlooking Trafalgar Square and features an impressive collection with more than 2,300 pieces from the mid 1200s to 1900. It’s certainly one of the best free art museums in London, and a must see.

Botticelli, Leonardo. Rembrandt, Degas, Giotto, Da Vinci, Monet, Titian… you get the point. The National Gallery is like a hall of fame for leading European artists post-Renaissance.

Beware, it’s vast – you’ll need at least a full morning or afternoon to explore the full collection or book a guided tour to learn more.

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Booking: You’ll need to book a slot in advance. Warning – they fill up quickly.

National Portrait Gallery


National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery

Tucked behind the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery is the biggest collection of portraits in the world. It’s not quite as vast as the National Gallery but it’s very much worth taking your time to see the collection.

One interesting thing about this free London art museum is that the paintings are chosen for the significance of the subject, not the artist. Some of the most well-known subjects include William Shakespeare (allegedly), the Bronte sisters and Queen Victoria.

After your visit, stop off at the cool rooftop cafe when you’re finished as the views of London are pretty spectacular.

Address: St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE

Booking: Walk-ins are fine, but book a free ticket here just to be safe.

The Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection

North of Oxford Street, there’s no missing the striking buildings of the Wallace Collection, one of the most interesting free art museums in London.

Inside the buildings, you’ll find paintings from the 15th to 19th century, with a particularly impressive collection of 18th century French artworks said to rival the collection at Versailles.

This free museum is the only place you’ll ever be able to see these masterpieces – when Sir Richard Wallace’s widow bequeathed the collection, she made it a condition that not a single piece should ever leave the imposing building.

Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Booking: No need to book in advance for the permanent collection.

Soho Photography Quarter


Soho Photography Quarter
Image Credit: Soho Photography Quarter

Soho Photography Quarter is an outdoor exhibition space on Ramillies Street that you need to visit.

The gallery’s ethos is all about highlighting the very best of contemporary photography and ensuring that they are accessible to a wide audience, without being stuck behind a pesky paywall.

This extension of The Photographer’s Gallery has been a long time coming – not far from Oxford Street, SQP hosts a rotating programme of modern artworks that will change bi-annually, with the debut exhibition Christian Thompson: Human Being Being Human proving a huge success.

Address: 16-18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW

Booking: No need to book – just turn up and admire the work on display.

The Whitechapel Gallery


The Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery may not pack in the pictures like the National Gallery or The Tates but it does have some great collections and roaming exhibitions too feast your eyes upon – and all entirely free. 

Some of the great masters have hung art on these walls. The names in their history books include top dogs like Frieda Kahlo and Picasso. The art you’ll find there now is no less impressive. 

We also love this place for its bookshop. It’s a truly excellent place to pick up great works of literature, art books and more. Plus with all the money you’ve saved on a ticket, maybe you’ll have some left to spend here. 

Address: 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX

Booking: No need to book 

Guildhall Art Gallery

The City of London 

Guildhall Art Gallery

How many London Galleries do you know that boast an actual Roman amphitheatre in their basement? Because that’s exactly what they’ve got at Guildhall Art Gallery

Yep, the structure was unearthed in 1988 when the gallery was expanding, and has been confirmed as the sort of place the Romans would have enjoyed watching people fight to a grizzly but (at least?) entertaining death.   

In more charming news the top floors are stuffed with great art, most of it pre-modern, some dating as far back as several hundred years. 

Address: Basinghall St, London EC2V 5AE

Booking: Free entry, you can book your ticket to assure entry if you wish.

Royal Institute of British Architecture


As you’ll know, we’re big fans of architecture, particularly in London, and the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) have three purpose-built exhibition spaces at their Portland Place location designed to showcase items from their extensive collections.

The Architecture Gallery shows off the best of their collections in a regularly-evolving exhibition, while the First Floor Gallery and Practice Space shows off RIBA’s relationship with architects and clients along, while highlighting RIBA award winners and education programmes.

Check out the range of current exhibitions here

Address: 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Booking: Entry to the exhibitions is completely free 

So, there we are – the best free museums in London. Plenty to keep you entertained and out of trouble right?

Read More: Unmissable Things to do in London

Need To Know

  • Although the museums are free, the smaller ones, in particular, do appreciate donations. If you have any spare pounds, they’ll be well used to keep the museums open and fund them for future generations.
  • It’s hard to avoid the crowds at the bigger free museums and galleries in London, but going mid-week and away from school holidays can help. Get there early when they’re generally at their quietest.
  • For the larger museums like the British Museum and the Natural History Museum, research what you want to see beforehand. If there’s something you’re desperate to see, check whether it’s on view – many of the largest museums like the Tate Britain rotate their collection on a frequent basis so not everything is on show.
  • We’ve mentioned the museum “Lates” in quite a few entries. These are when London’s museums open late into the night for special events and exhibitions. They’re a really interesting way to see a different side of the museum – but they are rarely free.

Best Free Museums in London: Map

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